Workout articles, healthy lifestyle tips, and fitness advice.

A 10-Minute Cardio Workout To Wake You Up

two people stretching in early morning light
Sometimes, mornings can be the worst — but they don't have to be! Energize your morning with this 10-minute cardio workout.

by Catherine Santino


For those of us who struggle with the snooze button in the morning, a quick morning workout might be just the thing to help jump-start your day!

You don't have to spend hours at the gym to fit in a workout — even a few minutes can make a difference. In fact, a 10-minute cardio workout first thing in the morning can be the perfect way to fire up your endorphins and set the tone for a productive day!

Not only can morning workouts boost motivation, but they can also help you burn fat throughout the day. According to EBioMedicine, studies in Japan have found that working out before breakfast increases 24-hour fat oxidation — but remember, if you feel woozy working out on an empty stomach, have a banana or a protein bar before the gym.

Try this simple 10-minute cardio workout to start your day on a healthy note.

Warm Up

Begin with a quick, two-minute warm-up to get your blood flowing:

  • One minute of jumping jacks

  • 30 seconds of mountain climbers

  • 30 seconds of planking

Squat Sequence

When you feel ready, begin with 30 seconds of basic squats. Make sure you keep your back straight and knees behind your toes! Next, perform these two moves:

Squats With Side Leg Lift: Complete a normal squat, but as you come up, lift one leg out to the side at about hip height if you can. Lower back down into a squat and repeat on the other leg. Continue for 30 seconds.

Squat Jumps: Lower down into a deep squat and then jump up as high as you can. Land back in a squat and repeat for 30 seconds.

Plank With Shoulder Tap

Give yourself a few moments to rest, and then position yourself in a high plank with your core engaged. Lift one hand off the ground and tap the opposite shoulder. Place the hand back down and alternate sides for one minute. If this becomes too difficult, drop down to your knees.

Jog In Place

Do this for one minute — keep your knees high and core engaged! You can do it!

Split Jumps

Stand with one foot out about two feet in front of the other. Bend your knees, jump, and switch legs as you land. Alternate and repeat for 30 seconds.

Pushups Sequence

Begin with a traditional push up. Move to your knees if you need to! Repeat for 30 seconds. Then try the following:

Pushup With Hand Raise: After a normal push up, raise one hand straight out in front of you, and then place it back down. Alternate sides for 30 seconds.

Plank Jacks: From a standard push up position, keep your arms still as you jump your feet out to the side and then back in. Repeat for one minute.

Lateral Toe Taps

Place a target between your feet. This can be a dumbbell, a kettlebell, your favorite novel — whatever! Tap one foot on the target while shifting the weight into the opposite foot. Quickly swap feet to complete one rep. Continue for one minute.

Jog in Place

Finish out your workout with one more minute of jogging in place.

Cool Down

You did it! Since you've just activated your entire body with this 10-minute cardio workout, you'll need to stretch your muscles! Start with some neck and shoulder rolls and then bend down to touch your toes — or get as close as you can. Let your neck hang loosely and feel the stretch in the back of your legs.

Now slowly roll back up into the starting position and focus on your shoulders and arm muscles with some cross-body stretches. Spend a minute or two on the floor stretching your hips and groin muscles. Then return to the standing position and finish by grabbing each foot to stretch out your quads.

And there you have it, a 10-minute cardio workout to make you feel like a morning person! OK — maybe that's a bit ambitious, but you can still expect to feel more energized and ready to tackle your day.

As always, please consult with a physician prior to beginning any exercise program. See full medical disclaimer here.